All about HR policies (and why writing them is one task you can’t afford to keep putting off)


All about HR policies (and why writing them is one task you can’t afford to put off)

A lot of small business owners realise the importance of having proper policies in place. Often though, writing policies is a task that many small business owners put off and put off, and it never quite ends up getting crossed off the to-do list. In this week’s blog post, we will be looking at why writing up the proper policies for your business is something you can’t afford to be putting off.

Before we get into this though, let’s start by looking at what policies are and why they are so important. Essentially, a policy is a clear, well-defined set of directions that guides the day-to-day operations of your business.

For most businesses, there are a number of different policies you will want to have in place. This might include a workplace health and safety policy, uniform policy, bullying and harassment policy, anti-discrimination policy, drug and alcohol policy, IT policy – the list goes on.

Policies serve a number of important functions. Not only do they set clear expectations about how you expect your employees to act and perform when at work, but they also provide employees with clear instructions about how they should react in certain situations, such as an incident or crisis. Policies also help to ensure that each employee is aware of their responsibilities and obligations and knows where to turn to for help if they require support or have a grievance.

Policies also help to create a safe and inclusive work environment, ensure consistency throughout the business, and make sure the business runs smoothly and efficiency by reducing the risk of mistakes resulting from people having a lack of clarity around their role or certain processes. They also help to ensure you are meeting your legal, regulatory, and other compliance obligations.

As you can see, policies are very important for a variety of reasons. And although they can be time-consuming and tiresome to write, having the proper policies could end up saving you a lot of time, stress, and money in the long run.

The importance of this has been highlighted by a recent ruling by the Fair Work Commission, in a case where an employee appealed their dismissal for breaching a workplace policy. The Fair Work Commission ruled in the employee’s favour, on the basis that the policy in question was found to be not “understandable” by the employer. The policy was also found to not be “reasonable” or “accessible”. As a result, the employee was reinstated in their role, and received compensation for lost pay.

So, what can small business owners learn from this? The key takeaway here is really just the importance of having the proper policies in place. And when we talk about the “proper” policies, we mean policies that are:

  • Clear and transparent (that is, the expectations are clearly outlined so the employee can easily see what their obligations and responsibilities are, what constitutes misconduct or a breach, and what the consequences would be for any misconduct or breach)
  • Concise (that is, succinct and expressed in the simplest terms possible, and not buried in unnecessarily long or complex text, technical jargon, or poor structure)
  • Consistent (that is, they are applied equally and in the same way to all employees across the organisation)
  • Written in plain language (that is, simple terms that the employee can actually understand)
  • Reasonable (that is, the stipulations set out within the policy are fair, reasonable, and practical in the context of the employee and the organisation)
  • Easily accessible (that is, they are readily available and located where employees can actually access or refer to them – not buried in a hard to find location on the company intranet)
  • Communicated to employees (that is, employees are provided with a copy of all policies and are reminded of these on a regular basis)

So there you have it – some of the best ways to create proper policies that will keep your company safe in the HR space! If you follow these tips, you will be well on your way to creating policies that will protect your company for the long run.

Not sure what policies you need, or need help getting your company policies set up? We can help. At MMC HR, we are skilled and experienced in creating, developing, maintaining, and communicating all types of company policies. Whatever your industry or size of your business, we can help you to ensure you’re compliant, and that your company is covered on the HR front. For more information, get in touch with us today at

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